On Sunday 3rd June, nine double-handed crews will set sail at the start of the Monaco Globe Series, a brand new 1300-mile race in the Mediterranean. In this magnificent setting, the battle looks like being exciting and instructive with a lot to play for. This new event will be the first leg of the Globe Series, the new IMOCA world championship for the 2018-2020 period.

It all begins on Sunday 3rd June at 1 p.m. (from the press release of the IMOCA class)
It’s been six years since the skippers in the IMOCA class last took part in a race in the Mediterranean with the 2012 Europa Warm Up. With the Monaco Globe Series, they will be competing in a non-stop double-handed for the first time in these fantastic waters, which often prove to be complicated. After two days of exhibition races on Friday 1st June and Saturday 2nd June, the duos will set sail from Monaco at the start of the 1300 mile race at 1p.m. precisely on Sunday 3rd June. The fleet will sail along the Western coast of Corsica before entering the Strait of Bonifacio between Corsica and Sardinia to head for Sicily. The fleet will then point their bows towards the Balearics before sailing back to the Principality of Monaco. “On one of the world’s most beautiful seas, the IMOCA skippers will certainly enjoy themselves and we will be seeing some great pictures. They will be able to make the most of an enthusiastic welcome at the Monaco Yacht Club, whose know-how is well established,” declared Antoine Mermod, President of the IMOCA class. It is HRH Prince Albert II who will signal the start of the Monaco Globe Series. A nod to the fact that he also launched the 2016-2017 Vendée Globe.

A mixed line-up with some women and sailors from abroad
The first edition of the Monaco Globe Series will bring together some of the best performing IMOCAs and some top class sailors. Out of the nine boats lining up, three will be magnificent foilers: Bureau Vallée 2 (Louis Burton/Anna-Maria Renken), Newrest-Art & Fenêtres (Fabrice Amedeo/Eric Péron) and the local IMOCA, supported by the Monaco Yacht Club, Malizia II (Boris Herrmann/Pierre Casiraghi). Without foils, but with a strong crew, Paul Meilhat and Gwénolé Gahinet on SMA will be serious contenders for victory.
Three IMOCAs will be sailed by women. Aboard Monin, Isabelle Joschke will be taking a preestigious sailor with her, Alain Gautier, the winner of the 1992-1993 Vendée Globe. On Kilcullen Team Ireland, Joan Mulloy will have a lot of help from Thomas Ruyant, who will be back on the boat aboard which he took part in the last Vendée Globe. For her first IMOCA race, Alexia Barrier will be joined by Pierre Quiroga on 4MyPlanet2.
Manu Cousin, another newcomer to the IMOCA class, is continuing to get to grips with Groupe Setin. He will compete in the Monaco Globe Series with a sailor who is now well known in the class, Alan Roura. For his return to IMOCA racing, Stéphane Le Diraison has chosen Stan Maslard to sail with him on a boat decked out in the colours of Boulogne-Billancourt.
“The line-up for the Monaco Globe Series is very interesting with women being well represented and sailors from four countries (France, Germany, Ireland and Switzerland),” declared Antoine Mermod. “This event will be an opportunity to se some old names, but also to discover some new talent, who will give us a lot of excitement in the new period taking us up to the 2020 Vendée Globe 2020.”

The first race in the IMOCA world championship
This new event will count a lot, as it is the first race on the calendar in the new IMOCA world championship, the Globe Series. Leading up to the 2020-2021 Vendée Globe (at the end of which we will discover the name of the IMOCA world champion), two races will take place each year with solo racing and double-handed racing. For 2018, the second race in the Globe Series will be the prestigious Route du Rhum. In 2019, there will be one event in the spring (which will be announced shortly) and then the Transat Jacques Vabre. In 2020, the skippers will take part in The Transat and then in the New York-Vendée. We should add that these events in the Globe Series will also count as qualifiers for the Vendée Globe, taking into account the number of miles raced by the skippers.

The line-up for the 2018 Monaco Globe Series :
– 4MyPlanet2 : Alexia Barrier/Pierre Quiroga
– Boulogne-Billancourt : Stéphane Le Diraison/Stan Maslard
– Bureau Vallée 2 : Louis Burton/Anna-Maria Renken
– Groupe Setin : Manu Cousin/Alan Roura
– Kilcullen Team Ireland : Joan Mulloy/Thomas Ruyant
– Malizia II : Boris Herrmann/Pierre Casiraghi
– Monin : Isabelle Joschke/Alain Gautier
– Newrest-Art & Fenêtres : Fabrice Amedeo/Eric Péron
– SMA : Paul Meilhat/Gwénolé Gahinet


Official Press Release of the Yacht Club de Monaco:

1st Monaco Globe Series

1-8 June 2018

Mediterranean – a new playground for IMOCAs

Monaco 8th May 2018. In line with a sports policy driven by its President HSH Prince Albert II, the Yacht Club de Monaco is organising the first Monaco Globe Series early June, the first stage of the new IMOCA (2018-2020) Championship. The second will be the Route du Rhum in November which celebrates its 40thanniversary. With nine of the 60-footers already registered and one pending confirmation, the double-handed non-stop offshore race without assistance is a chance for competitors to rack up points towards selection for the Vendée Globe 2020.

Having left Lorient end of March, Malizia II skippered by Pierre Casiraghi and Boris Herrmann was the first to arrive in Monegasque waters after a week-long passage. All teams are expected soon to drop anchor for the first time in the Principality to compete in this event, with the starting gun being fired Sunday 3rd June 2018 by YCM President HSH Prince Albert II from the M/Y Pacha III, an elegant 36m motor-yacht built in 1936 at Camper & Nicholsons.

Mediterranean gems

The 1,200nm offshore route embraces the most emblematic race marks in the Western Mediterranean. After thestart in Monaco, the fleet races down Corsica’s west coast before being propelled through the Strait of Bonifaciopast Sardinia, a tribute to the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda celebrating 20 years of twinning with the YCM. They then head for Sicily to tack in front of another club with which the YCM is twinned, the prestigious Circolo della Vela Sicilia, Challenger of Record for the America’s Cup and organiser of the Palermo-Montecarlo. The fleet then sets course for the Balearic Islands before returning to Monaco.

A driving force behind this project, YCM Vice-President Pierre Casiraghi is convinced an event of this stature is significant “not only because it is part of our desire to further develop competitive sailing in Monaco, but to support new vocations and inspire our youngsters to dream. We don’t get the chance to see IMOCA boats very often here in the Mediterranean, which is why this meeting is unique.”

The pairs

For the start, 18 sailors are already confirmed including Bretons Paul Meilhat and Gwénolé Gahinet on SMA,winners of the last Rolex Fastnet Race. They face Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2). With two Vendée Globes, three Transat Jacques Vabres and two Route du Rhums behind him, he is accompanied by Anna-Maria Renken. A renowned offshore regular but in the 40’ class, the German will be tapping into her ocean racing experience for this Mediterranean meeting. Other female sailors are set to take the helm, including Isabelle Joschke (Monin) and Alexia Barrier on Club Corsaires 2020, an IMOCA used to the high seas, having come 15th in the 2016/2017 Vendée Globe and with a Rolex Fastnet Race, Velux de la 5 Océans and a Transat Jacques Vabre under her keel.

Hailing from more “conventional” classes (dinghies, 6.5m and 40’ Class), Manuel Cousin is a newcomer to the IMOCA class on Groupe Setin. After three months in the yard, the former Mie-Câline-Artipôle has been given a new lease of life ready for her new owner. The future will tell if the work bears fruit. Another that has spent six months in the yard is Boulogne Billancourt, led by Stephane Le Diraison, which is finally ready to join the fleet in the Mediterranean. He is paired with Stan Maslard.

And finally, Fabrice Amadeo and Eric Peron return to the fray for this 1st Monaco Globe Series on Newrest Art & Fenêtres. After competing together in the 2015 Transat Jacques Vabre, the pair are set to attack the“Grande Bleue”. “Conditions can be very changeable in the Med and this type of course on a boat like this will require total commitment. But it will be very interesting,” reckons the Finistére sailor, Eric Peron.
A qualifier for the Vendée Globe

The Monaco event marks the start of the new IMOCA 2018-2020 championship, renamed the Globe Series, with a system of points and weightings over a four-year period. The sailors who rack-up the maximum number of nautical miles stand a chance of being selected for the Vendée Globe, the “Everest of the Seas”.

An exclusive press conference is being held on the opening day, Friday 1st June, with the principle organisers to present key events in the Globe Series leading up to the next Vendée Globe.

Raising awareness of the sea with the public and young generation

In collaboration with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Monaco Globe Series is providing a platform for contestants to report on the state of the marine environment. The course crosses the Pelagos Sanctuary and skippers are likely to encounter the many marine mammals and cetaceans that roam this sea.

Keen to share this unprecedented race with as many people as possible, SSI-MonacoSat (Inmarsat partner) is opening its communication channels to teams free of charge, so they can broadcast photos and videos. It is a great opportunity for skippers to bring their experience alive for the public.

In another initiative, this one by Pierre Casiraghi and Boris Herrmann, the YCM has developed an educationalkit working with Monaco’s Education Department and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. Translated into French and German, the kit explains the mysteries of the marine environment in a fun way, alongside a competition entitled “Draw me Malizia II” aimed at school children in Monaco, and any youngsters (primary and secondary) who can download the kit from the YCM website (www.ycm.org). The one coming up with the best drawing wins an opportunity to watch the start of the race from a boat near the starting line.

Experience the race live

Teams registered on the 8th of May 2018.

Malizia II – Pierre Casiraghi / Boris Herrmann
SMA – Paul Meilhat / Gwénolé Gahinet
Bureau Vallée 2 – Louis Burton / Anna-Maria RenkenMonin – Isabelle Joschke / co-skipper TBC

Newrest Art & Fenêtres – Fabrice Amedeo / Eric PeronClub Corsaires 2020 – Alexia Barrier / co-skipper TBCGroupe Setin – Manuel Cousin / co-skipper TBCKilcullen Team Ireland – Joan Mulloy / TBC

Boulogne Billancourt – Stephane Le Diraison / Stan Maslard
Sailing enthusiasts the world-over can follow the race on a live tracking system broadcast on screens in the
Yacht Club de Monaco and on the YCM website (www.yacht-club-monaco.mc).
Online also, offshore fanatics can try their hand at a Virtual Regatta game, pitting their skills against seasoned sailors on the Monaco Globe Series course. Registration to take part on this virtual course will open on the
portal ten days before the race.
About the IMOCA
These 60-foot (18.28m) mono-hulls made their entrance onto the race scene in 1986 at the BOC Challenge and are among the fastest modern racing hulls. Built using composite materials, they are designed to be as light as possible for speed, yet robust enough to withstand oceanic weather conditions.
The Monegasque boat Malizia II, former Gitana 16 that belonged to Sébastien Josse, is a newcomer to the YCM fleet and embodies the new generation which is considered one of the best mono-hulls competing in the lastVendée Globe. Fitted with a standardised keel and mast, the hull’s voluminous bow improves performance, not
forgetting foils in place of the straight daggerboard of previous IMOCAs.

Standardised IMOCA specifications

Size: 18.28m (60-foot) Draft: 4.5m
Mast: 29m max.

Provisional programme:

Friday 1st June 2018

Exhibition day for teams and their sponsors

While the class may have decided to constrain its rating for safety reasons, IMOCA boats have continued to embrace innovations. Fixed keels became canting, hulls are more powerful (with more volume in front) and of course foils have made an appearance. These “Dali moustaches” take the weight of the hull and reducehydrodynamic drag allowing the boat to go faster on certain points of sailing.
2.00pm: Runs and courses in Monaco Bay
5.00pm: Press conference to launch the Monaco Globe Series
6.00pm: Globe Series Opening Ceremony (by invitation)
8.30pm: Gala Dinner (by invitation)

Saturday 2nd June 2018

Exhibition day
• 2.00pm: Runs and courses in Monaco Bay

Sunday 3rd June 2018

• 1.00pm: Start of 1,200 nautical mile raceFriday 8th June 2018

• 6.00pm: Prize-giving ceremony

Results: www.ycm.org
Press contacts: Tel: +377 93 10 64 09 – Email: presse@ycm.orgCopyright-free photos and video footage available on request..